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Description

Star Wars Day celebrates the film series Star Wars, which was created by George Lucas. The eponymously-titled first film of the series was released on May 25, 1977. Later gaining the title Episode IV: A New Hope, the film became a worldwide cultural phenomenon and helped usher in the concept of the blockbuster movie. It was followed by The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983); these three films made up the original trilogy. A prequel trilogy was released between 1999 and 2005, and a sequel trilogy began being released in 2015. All of the films were commercially successful, and there have been spin-off films to the series as well. Star Wars became a franchise, and books, games, television series, and more have been produced under its name. Star Wars merchandise has also been very successful.

May fourth was chosen as the date of Star Wars Day because of the phrase "May the fourth be with you," which is a pun of the phrase "May the Force be with you"—a phrase used multiple times in Star Wars films. An early record of the pun dates to May 4, 1979, just shy of two years before the release of the original film. Well wishes were printed in The London Evening News that said May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.. These wishes were directed to Margaret Thatcher, who became Britain's first female prime minister on the day.

Star Wars Day came with the rise of the internet and was a grassroots creation from fans. In 2008, the first Facebook groups appeared for Luke Skywalker Day; it took place on May fourth and the phrase "May the fourth be with you" was associated with it. Within a few years, the phrase and the idea took hold on college campuses and Star Wars Day began. The first organized event took place in 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

Lucasfilm, the creator of Star Wars, came to embrace the day. After purchasing Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney began celebrating the day the following year. They have held events at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Various other entities connected to the franchise host parties, have giveaways, and put on sales on the day. Celebrants of the day have movie marathons, make Star Wars related recipes, wear Star Wars costumes, and share the phrase "May the fourth be with you" with fellow fans and on social media.

The following day is observed by some as the Revenge of the Fifth. This day celebrates the Sith Lords and other villains of Star Wars. Some celebrate the day on May sixth and call it the Revenge of the Sixth.

Star Wars Day, also known as Intergalactic Star Wars Day and Luke Skywalker Day, is observed next on Saturday, May 4th, 2019. It has always been observed annually on May 4th.

How to Observe

Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the day:

  • Have a Star Wars movie marathon. Watch the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequels, or other films related to the series.
  • Dress up in Star Wars gear. Maybe you have a T-shirt, or maybe you have a full costume.
  • Listen to soundtracks from the films.
  • Make some Star Wars related crafts or recipes.
  • Introduce a young person to Star Wars.
  • Take out your old Star Wars toys.
  • Look for deals on Star Wars related products from various companies, such as costumes, clothes, games and toys.
  • Explore more about Star War on Wookieepedia.
  • Read some interesting facts about Star Wars.

Occurrence Patterns

ObservedFirst YearLast Year
annually on May 4th--

Countdown

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Alternate Names

  • Intergalactic Star Wars Day

  • Luke Skywalker Day

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